Designer: Seth Hagan
Artist: Joseph Hagan
Publisher: Mental Eclipse LLC
Year Published: 2020
The set up is very fast and simple. Simply shuffle the deck of 65 cards, and then deal them out face down as evenly as the player count allows for. DO NOT LOOK AT THE CARDS! Hand everyone a reference card, and you are good to go.
Twisted Game of War has a medieval theme to it. The artwork and twisted metal font enhance that theme well. The mechanic is simple. It is the game of war that we all know from our youth. Mental Eclipse, however, has added two new layers to it. A fifth suit, and the reference chart. This makes the simple game of chance more hectic and chaotic. By adding the reference chart that can give more cards to the winner, a multi-player game becomes more entertaining.
While the gameplay is a little clunky at first, as you have to reference the winning card to every other card every time, this gets faster as the game goes on. The gameplay is simple. Once all players flip over their top card, the player with the highest value card is the winner. Consult the chart to determine your prize(s). This could be nothing (if the suits match), it could be up to four new cards to add to your arsenal, or anything in between. Play continues until one person has all 65 cards.
Twisted Game of War is made up of 5 “suits” each with their own weapon or armor. Each of these items are well depicted and look fantastic. Each suit has 13 cards numbered 1 through 13. There are the 5 reference chart cards, and the rule card. That’s it. The game is small, comes in a slightly larger than standard box of playing cards. The cards have a nice feel in your hand, and they shuffle well. I hate decks that cannot be bridged and knocked back into alignment because they are too stiff, or too flimsy. These cards are neither.
This is a very small, compact game that can easily be taken with you anywhere you go. You could play on a flight, a bus trip, in the back seat of the family van, or anywhere that you can flip over a card. At a restaurant that is taking forever to get your food out? Twisted Game of War will ease that waiting!
Twisted Game of War works better with more people. The inevitability of the mano-a-mano at the end, however, can drag this game out. We started playing for either a certain amount of time (we liked 20 minutes) or just go through the deck once. Whoever captured the most in that allotted time was crowned (get it?) the winner.
While there is nothing Earth-shattering with Twisted Game of War, it is refreshing. The added mechanic of the reference chart allowing more cards to be captured was novel and invigorating.